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By: SpikeBoyM, Alex Ullman
Nov 05 2007 12:12pm
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PDC is an all player run format on Magic Online. It consists of competitive games using exclusively commons cards. Games can be found in the "/join pdc" room and events can be found on the Magic Online official message boards. For more information please visit paupermagic.com

It is getting close to that time of year again-when the Magic Online world catches up to that of the paper world: Lorwyn's online release is imminent! That means that while all those lovely people who play with actual cardboard have been clamoring about the set, we here in digital land are ready to bust open our first (non-Beta) packs. And since they already had their fun, it is time for the online world to get its very own set review (yay!) for PDC (smaller yay!).

I have already discussed how I feel about the mechanics from this set, so now it is on to the individual cards. I will be going in alphabetical order and discussing the cards I feel will have some impact on PDC Standard and Classic. I reserve the right to be wrong and make sweeping claims as well; after all, I am a writer.

Adder-Staff Boggart is one hell of a way to start. He already has the right stats for an aggressive Red deck, and has the potential to get larger. On top of that, Burn Range, one of the more successful Red decks in PDC runs two cards with a converted mana cost of six: Fireblast and Oxidda Golem. Eight cards that nearly guarantee winning a Clash means good times for the aggressive Red decks. Burn Range also runs fewer lands than the average deck, meaning that this guy will have a greater chance of being all grown up in Classic.

Standard is another story. There are few big men that warrant inclusion currently, especially in Red. That being said, Standard appears to be shaping up to be a whole bunch of monsters smashing into each other. This monster has the potential to be bigger and do more damage. I expect him to see serious play in Standard as well.

As if his body was not enough, this Goblin also has brains. Well, sort of. In a color that lacks serious card advantage, Jake the Snake may get you closer to that final burn spell you need, acting as a card filterer. Always a good thing.


This goblin's best friend?

Aethersnipe is big, but the Evoke cost is manageable. I expect it to see play in some of the more mid-range Momentary Blink decks that are running around Classic, but most likely as a one or two of. In Standard, I could see going to the full suite of four in a slower Blink deck. While this guy is solid, it takes a lot of extraneous effort to get him going. In PDC, where slots should be at a premium, there are simply better options for the time being.

Aquitect's Will might be a contender for cantrip slots in Merfolk aggro decks. I expect this guy to fluctuate in and out of Classic Blue beatdown decks, most likely as sideboard fodder. In Standard, however, where Merfolk aggro could be a major player the Will will be a solid card that has the potential to make your team unblockable.  Would you play a card that read “all your creatures gain flying permanently. Draw a card?” I think so. That is how good the Will can be in the right deck.

Avian Changeling is filler, but good filler. It will turn on Tribal strategies in White, and could provide a nice evasive body for Standard. The Avian might make an appearance in Classic if
Rend Flesh rises in popularity again, but I suspect this flier to see more play in Standard, but nothing overwhelming.

Blades of Velis Vel is interesting. There have been similar cards in the past, but they tend to only be playable in White:
Fortify and its brethren. Is the ability to turn on Tribal enough to make this guy a player? Blades might see some play in Standard, but I doubt it.

Blind-Spot Giant is a card people will try to build a deck around. Classic has better beaters (although it is hard to beat that cost). In Standard, however, a 4/3 for 2R could very well dominate the battlefield for a few turns. If enough playable Giants are found, Mr. Magoo (yes, I am coming up with far too many nicknames) could see heavy play.

Boggart Birth Rite is a
Raise Dead that can get Shapeshifter spells and Tarfire. My guess is Standard only if that- there are simply better cards.
Bog-Strider Ash has the potential to be sideboard fodder against two decks: Goblins and Mono-Black Control. Goblins should be wary of this beater, as the large butt combined with the life gain could prove meddlesome.

Broken Ambitions is a counterspell for decks that can generate a ton of mana. There are better counterspells in both formats, but it is a counterspell that costs a single Blue mana and therefore will see play in two color decks seeking to dominate the mid to late game.

Cenn's Heir is too slow and too fragile for Classic. It is also very vulnerable in Standard. However, it is the closest PDC will get to a
Goblin Piledriver quite possibly ever. Until people realize that the best Kithkin in PDC do not attack, they search out Aven Riftwatcher, this beater will see play. The simple lack of really strong common Kithkin will limit the Heirs utility.

Deeptread Merrow fits quite nicely into the Merfolk aggro deck I was talking about before. Again, it will take a little while to get going, but could prove very pesky in Standard; the activation cost may prove prohibitive in Classic.

Dreamspoiler Witches is a highly interactive card: you want your opponent to be doing stuff for it to be at its best. While too slow for Classic, I would not be surprised to seethe Witches appear in Standard. In fact, many of the Standard stalwarts are already salivating at the thoughts of this card and
(Sprout Swarm.

Eyeblight's Ending is really good removal. Decks in Classic can now play with eight
Rend Fleshes. Decks in Standard now have an incredibly solid removal spell. Thumbs up all around.

Goblin Piledriver

We can only hope...


Faerie Trickery is a huge card. While it is overshadowed by Liquify in Classic, this card will be a house in Standard. Liquify gets the nod in Classic because because the only spells worth removing from the game- Stinkweed Imp, Grim Harvest, Momentary Blink- all cost three or less. Standard does not have Liquify and it does have Mystical Teachings. This card will actually help to keep the slower decks in check and give aggro control a punchers chance. I really like this card, and should be an automatic four-of in decks that can support it.

Faultgrinder is too slow. People will work hard to make it work with Blink. It is still very slow.

Flamekin Brawler might see play as a late game beater in Standard. Might being the operative word.

Footbottom Feast is cute, but no one plays the comparable
Bone Harvest and Grim Harvest is usually better. Next!

I really like Gilt-Leaf Ambush if there is a way for you to always win the Clash. Otherwise, it is just sub-par compared to the other token generators available in Classic. In Standard, this will see play in Elf decks, but will most likely be disappointing.

Hillcomber Giant is sideboard tech. You heard it here first.

Hurly-Burly gets mentioned for two reasons. 1) It will be a sweeper in Standard, and hoses Faeries. 2) It rhymes with my friend Mark's last name.

Ingot Chewer might see play in Classic as a way to hurt Affinity early and prove troublesome late. Without strong Artifacts in Standard, this Elemental will sit on the sidelines.

Inkfathom Divers is surprisingly playable. While too slow for Classic, the Divers fit very nicely into the Merfolk curve and have this season's version of flying in Islandwalk. The
Sage Owl ability will be useful for setting up Clashes to boot. I like this card. It looks like I am becoming one of those filthy Blue mages.

Inner-Flame Acolyte is sick. It is either a 4/2 haste for three which is a really solid burn spell or a
Reckless Charge effect that can be regrown. He might make the cut in some Classic decks. However, Standard is a place where this card can shine. Standard has been lacking a very strong aggro deck to help keep the format in check. This card will go a long way towards making that aggro deck viable in Classic.

Lace with Moonglove is a big fat maybe. The fact that it replaces itself is really the only redeeming factor. Otherwise, it relies too much on creature combat to be of any value.

Lash Out is interesting. It kills most creatures in Standard and has the potential to be better if you can win the Clash. Additionally, it has the filtering effect which is useful in Red decks. This card will definitely be a player in that aggro deck I was talking about before. This card will also be the main character in many bad beat stories for the upcoming yeas of Standard. While there may be better burn spells in Classic, I can see decks where this card is wanted for its ability to filter cards away, notable UR
Cloudpost decks.

Leaf Gilder is my MVP of Lorwyn. I know it seems odd- it is after all, just another mana elf. However, this one does something that the other mana elves cannot do: beat down. This will make the Gilder very potent in mid-range aggro decks.  However, what is even more exciting is the way this card accelerates your mana. With most other mana elves, you go from one mana to three. This card gives you the jump from two to four. In green, the best cards seem to be concentrated at four mana and above. This opens up many options for deck builders and could provide some very interesting opportunities for PDC. Very very exciting.

Moonglove Extract is colorless burn. Always a good thing. A touch slow, but should see play.

Mournwhelk is a card that I could see getting heavy play. In Classic, MBC could use a card like this that can play the role of discard and late game beater. The fact that the deck runs
Grim Harvest does not hurt this card.
In Standard, however, this card plus the Harvest could be the backbone of a decent Standard MBC deck. And for those of you that do not know, I really like MBC.

Mulldrifter should be a big hitter. It fills a role in the mid-game of MUC and also could be a nice bit of card advantage for Grand Entrance. The cost is low enough on both sides of the card to have it see serious play in Classic. In Standard, this card will be a house as long as counter magic does not become dominant. In other words, I expect to see this a lot in the coming months.

Nameless Inversion is a nice little card. It can push through some extra damage or take out a creature. It also turns on Tribal. I really think a Black-Green beasts deck using this card and
Wirewood Savage could make a splash on the mid-range side of things.

Neck Snap is solid if expensive removal.

Nightshade Stinger could have a home in aggressive Black decks across both formats. I think it will be really good in decks with Ninjas, but you knew that already, didn't you?

Oblivion Ring is sweet. Really sweet. It will see heavy play in Standard because it handles just about everything and there are not very many great answers to it. Classic, is another story. With Orzhov still being a player in Classic, people will be prepared to handle Enchantments, meaning that while this card will be strong, it will be much more vulnerable in the elder format.

Paperfin Rascal blah blah blah Merfolk aggro. Blah blah blah good in a deck where it can win the Clash. Blah blah blah pair it with
Crookclaw Transmuter and Sentinels of Glen Elendra.

Peppersmoke is nice, except there are simply better removal spells. It might see play if Faerie.dec becomes a player.

Ponder is nice and will see play in all formats. Except, there are definitely better cards out there. Expect this card to see much more play in Standard as the card drawing there is comparatively weaker.

Rootgrapple is expensive. It is slow. And I love it. I know it is not that great of a card, but the fact that it is an Instant excites me. I would not be surprised if this card sees play.

Runed Stalactite enables Tribal, but it is too expensive to see heavy play.

Sentinels of Glen Elendra is a nice card and the fact that is has Flash means that it will get played a decent amount- combat trick and beater rolled into one is nice.

Shimmering Grotto might see play, but the tempo disadvantage is so great, I would not recommend it.

Smokebraider will see play if Elementals becomes a viable deck.

If Faerie.dec is viable, Spellstutter Sprite will see play. Seeing as how the Faeries are all fragile and die to just about everything, don't expect to see them all over the place.

(Steambed Aquitects) is quite strong. It is the right size for the cost in Blue, and has to potential to dominate the combat phase. Also, see my comments on every other Merfolk card.

Tarfire is good- do you really need me to say more? Well, fine. Some decks want eight
Shocks, some don't. The abundance of good burn in Standard means that the Red deck will come together sooner rather than later.

I want to like Thieving Sprite, but it is far to expensive for consideration in Classic. It might make a splash in Standard, but I am not so sure.

Wanderer's Twig is nice, and will see more play in Standard as it helps to fix mana and thin out the slower decks.

Warren Pilferers is pretty awesome. In Standard it fills the role of the mid-game Black body that can occasionally be a hasty monster. In Classic, this card might replace
Gravedigger in MBC since that deck is relatively slow. Chaining Pilferers together in MBC could be a strong offensive strategy that will be interesting to see develop.

Weed Strangle is just too slow to make a difference.

Whirlpool Whelm is nice for Standard and too slow for Classic. If a decent aggro-control deck shows up in the new Standard, expect this card to see play.

Lorwyn is an exciting set for PDC. Not only will Standard drastically shift, but there are enough cards that could make an impact in Classic to spark some more interest in the format. In Standard, I expect aggro and aggro-control to dominate early. Blink based mid-range and Teachings based control will both be players. Burn and counter magic will also be at an all time strong point for Standard, which will pose some interesting match ups. Additionally, Islands might be at an all time high and an all time low due to the prevalence of Islandwalk.
New sets are always fun.
Keep slinging' commons-


Suffocating Blast

It's a Lorwyn metaphor


Lys Alana Huntmaster by Polyjak (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 11/07/2007 - 00:46
Polyjak (Unregistered)'s picture

I think you overlooked this token-producing card. This will be a build-around card, at least in Standard, as long as there are elves. And there are usually elves.

You know me, green token-creature lover. I'm already trying to make it work.

Comprehensive review. Nice jorb. 

by SpikeBoyM at Tue, 11/06/2007 - 16:41
SpikeBoyM's picture

Hit the nail on the head.  It's not that they have a high CMC (four is not that high), but rather higher than a vast majority of cards played currently in Classic PDC.  Standard, from what I've seen, tends towards higher CMC cards.


by Evu at Tue, 11/06/2007 - 14:04
Evu's picture

I'm missing the synergy between Paperfin Rascal and the flash flyers.  Is it just that they have high CMCs?

by SpikeBoyM at Mon, 11/05/2007 - 13:21
SpikeBoyM's picture

Hindsight is an odd word choice here.  I wrote this article almost two weeks ago; I guess the queue was full.


by JXClaytor at Mon, 11/05/2007 - 19:53
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Yes the queue was and to this day still very full.  I went ahead and changed it, even though two weeks ago, Scatter made sense :)

by khirareq at Tue, 11/06/2007 - 00:18
khirareq's picture

If you wrote this two weeks ago, I must say you called the meta very well.

I'd love to see that merfolk aggro deck I've heard so much about.  Care to post a prospective list in the forums?  Or are you saving that tech for Thursday? ;)

by 53N531 at Mon, 11/05/2007 - 12:55
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"In fact, many of the Standard stalwarts are already salivating at the thoughts of this card and Scatter the Seeds."

 Don't you mean Sprout Swarm? Great article though. Its always good for the hindsight factor to see what other people think of the cards in a set.